Guardian journalist turned MP slams London papers

A former Guardian journalist MP has attacked the Evening Standard for its alleged lack of local London news claiming that more people read the paper in Tunbridge Wells than in his South London constituency of Battersea.

Discussing London's newspaper market Labour MP Martin Linton told the BBC's Politics Show on Sunday: "Its great if you're catching the tube. The tube stations are surrounded by people giving out free newspapers but for people living in Battersea they're very unlikely to read any of these papers."

Linton said that he questioned whether the Standard was a London paper. He said: "I think more people will read the Evening Standard in Tunbridge Wells than read the paper in Battersea."

In September Associated Newspapers free afternoon daily London Lite and News International's thelondonpaper launched with both aiming to achieve a 400,000 distribution.

Linton said: "If you read the Evening Standard it has a lot of news about Ken Livingstone but it has very little of the kind of thing people want to know about locally. I don't think the London papers fit that bill. The local papers do but sadly a very small proportion of people will buy a paid-for local paper."

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